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Definition of Fantoche

The term Fantoche is a qualifying adjective that refers to a conceited, grotesque and / or unpleasant person.

The word Fantoche is a Latin adaptation of the French “fantoche” and the Italian “Fantoccio”, alluding to a doll. Popularly used throughout the nineteenth century, European immigrants introduced this term to Latin American countries.

Depending on the type of use, Fantoche can be a masculine noun , since originally it alluded to a doll that moved by means of threads, or also, by introducing a hand under its clothing.

It should be noted that its use has been fundamentally accentuated to be used as a qualifying adjective for use without an established age range. Inclusion in language appears both in adults and in young people, who give it a more confrontational meaning.

Fantoche in Argentina

The Tango , a musical genre of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries , used the term fantoche in his songs as a metaphor for a person who lacks independence and real value.

Another use is the well-known popular candy that bears this name.

Carlos Gardel , in his song “Nostalgias”, includes the expression in a stanza: “Gime, bandoneón, your gray tango / Maybe it hurts you the same / Some sentimental love / My puppet soul cries ”.

Fantoche in Chile

In the trans-Andean country, the term Fantoche is used to refer to a person who improperly exercises a position.


  • Puppet
  • Ghost
  • Presumptuous
  • Petulant